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Offline SecureComp

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Re: Gave it One Last Try
« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2016, 03:14:54 pm »
Just programmed 3 Scenes into the 2nd Key Fob.

Toggle lights in one room, toggle lights in another room, toggle all lights in the house.

I'll probably modify that but it works. Kind of handy.
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Offline d.kiran

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Re: Gave it One Last Try
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2016, 10:25:09 am »
Second, the issues experienced with Linear products, primarily the FS20Z-1 module.  I have this module located in my garage, not more than 20 feet from where my A+ is located.  However, it constantly lost connection requiring me to delete and re-add the module time and time again.

I thought I would add to that since I have that exact module connected to my garage and I have not had a problem. In fact, we have been away from my house from November to February earlier this year and when I came back, I used my app to open the garage door and it worked flawlessly.

I added a couple of linear switches (WD500z and WT00z) about 4 days back that have been working well so far. The only issue is that they don't support instant status update (by design, so works the same way in SmartThings, Wink and Almond) so the status on the app is not accurate. But they haven't lost connection (yet)

Offline jnowland7

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Re: Gave it One Last Try
« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2016, 11:17:16 am »
I understand you want a handy remote. The Securifi Key Fob is a programmable remote that can be used to turn lights on and off.

The Cree bulbs I use are managed by both the app and the light switch and work fine. I don't have any lights in any house that are not wired to a light switch. Just looking at the switch you posted, doesn't it toggle the light but leave the power on? So the light is still live in the net?

An old smartphone that always has the App open and no security code is what I use as a secondary remote. No App load wait, not using my phone, just have it sitting in the living room near the lights and TV.  I'm adding a 2nd key fob right now to try and set it up as a remote for lights and some other stuff.

I gotcha and understand.  I am glad this work for you and I too bought the key fob.  However, it just isn't the same thing as having a physical switch, which looks like a switch and not a tiny key fob.  Honestly, it isn't very attractive to have key fobs laying around the house.  The GE remote at least looks like a remote one would have for a TV so it doesn't stand out.  I can program 18 devices with the GE remote, which is very handy when I get in to bed, only to realize I left the garage light on.  Very easy to reach over and press a button.

With regards to your statement about "doesn't it toggle the light but leave the power on? So the light is still live in the net?  Let's map this one out... Lamp with Cree bulb, plugged into an outlet.  Said outlet is controlled by a mechanical switch.  When said switch is turned off, power is longer available for said outlet, which also means there is no power to said lamp with Cree bulb.   No power to lamp with Cree bulb means the Cree bulb will no longer be available on the network due to no power.  What type of switch is made where when it is turned off, there is still power supplied.  I want to stay away from those switches because they aren't doing their job.  Check it... I appreciate your responses, but this is exactly what I am referring to with the A+.  It is all about "jury rigging".  This may be ok with single guys, but I am here to tell you that most women (wives) will not be cool with non-aesthetically pleasing options for lighting control.   Just saying...  And little kids... I cannot recall how many things have been misplaced in my house because a 4 year old didn't put a tiny key fob back where he/she used it.

Offline jnowland7

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Re: Gave it One Last Try
« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2016, 11:21:58 am »
I thought I would add to that since I have that exact module connected to my garage and I have not had a problem. In fact, we have been away from my house from November to February earlier this year and when I came back, I used my app to open the garage door and it worked flawlessly.

I added a couple of linear switches (WD500z and WT00z) about 4 days back that have been working well so far. The only issue is that they don't support instant status update (by design, so works the same way in SmartThings, Wink and Almond) so the status on the app is not accurate. But they haven't lost connection (yet)

You actually assisted me with this issue a while back before I finally gave up and switched to SmartThings.  You were very patient and helpful however, I was never able to keep this switch stable on my A+ home auto network.  The switch is located in the garage, which is detached from the house.  Therefore there are 2 exterior walls between the switch and the A+, as well as about 20 feet of backyard.  I have a Leviton switch in the shed, which is further away and has never given me issues.  Since switching to SmartThings, every module in my network has worked perfectly.

Offline d.kiran

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Re: Gave it One Last Try
« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2016, 11:57:58 am »
Since switching to SmartThings, every module in my network has worked perfectly.

I remember now.. If it's working well on ST, I assume it is not a hardware problem either. I don't have any other suggestions.

It most women (wives) will not be cool with non-aesthetically pleasing options for lighting control.   Just saying...  And little kids... I cannot recall how many things have been misplaced in my house because a 4 year old didn't put a tiny key fob back where he/she used it.

:-) It just happened to me with those Linear switches. Apparently those switches were a little too white and all our switches were very light ivory. I went to homedepot and lowes and could not find a switch that is the exact shade of white as those linear bulbs. FML

When said switch is turned off, power is longer available for said outlet, which also means there is no power to said lamp with Cree bulb.   No power to lamp with Cree bulb means the Cree bulb will no longer be available on the network due to no power. 

This is the part I have never ever understood with connected bulbs. If you want to use them with a mechanical switch, then you turn off the switch, the bulb loses all power. In your case, you have bought a cree bulb and another zigbee device. Wouldn't you have been better off just replacing the wall switch with a z-wave wall switch? That way it is just one device that you replace. You would still be able to use an app or a mechanical switch. Granted it doesn't solve your problem of secondary controller.

Honestly though, can someone give me valid examples of using connected bulbs (non color changing) where a z-wave switch wouldn't work just as well or better ? Apparently my imagination is limited. And that way I can use the lone GE Link bulb I have

What type of switch is made where when it is turned off, there is still power supplied.  I want to stay away from those switches because they aren't doing their job.
Pretty much all z-wave switches. That is why they require a neutral so that they can keep the radio on while turning off the load. Edit: Never mind, I misunderstood your question
« Last Edit: June 03, 2016, 12:00:51 pm by d.kiran »

Offline SecureComp

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Re: Gave it One Last Try
« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2016, 12:50:22 pm »
I gotcha and understand.  I am glad this work for you and I too bought the key fob.  However, it just isn't the same thing as having a physical switch, which looks like a switch and not a tiny key fob.  Honestly, it isn't very attractive to have key fobs laying around the house.  The GE remote at least looks like a remote one would have for a TV so it doesn't stand out.  I can program 18 devices with the GE remote, which is very handy when I get in to bed, only to realize I left the garage light on.  Very easy to reach over and press a button.

Ah, you want support for a currently unsupported device, at least I didn't see any GE Remote on the supported device list.  Nothing wrong with that, plenty of devices I would like to have supported as well and a more capable remote is one of them. But that's different than trying to solve a problem with known supported devices which is what I took the problem to be.

Indeed there are no "remote controls" on the supported list other than the NYCE 'lifestyle' control which is a key fob as well, and the Securifi key fob.  So your issue isn't 'jury rigging', it is rather a desire to have an expanded list of supported devices, specifically a different, more capable, remote control device. You want to solve a problem that can't be solved using the list of currently supported devices. So you have created a no win scenario, pile on compounding issues such as aesthetics, children and work arounds which gives the impression that the Almond+ falls far short of your desires. Understanding a little bit better about your real world needs, I am empathetic but not sympathetic in this case, the device isn't supported, period, hopefully it will be in the future.

Quote

With regards to your statement about "doesn't it toggle the light but leave the power on? So the light is still live in the net?  Let's map this one out... Lamp with Cree bulb, plugged into an outlet.  Said outlet is controlled by a mechanical switch.  When said switch is turned off, power is longer available for said outlet, which also means there is no power to said lamp with Cree bulb.   No power to lamp with Cree bulb means the Cree bulb will no longer be available on the network due to no power.  What type of switch is made where when it is turned off, there is still power supplied.
A programmable remote switch that would talk to the bulb not the outlet. I've not looked for one as I have no need but I would have expected one to be out there for someone's bulb.

But again, this goes to design and working with currently supported devices.  The supported controllable outlets that I use are connected to devices that when power is applied, come to an active and useful state, for example, an in window air conditioner. When power is applied to the outlet, the AC unit is powered on and cooling. Not a two step action but a one step action.

Your design had controllable light bulbs connected to a controllable outlet. That was your choice and created it's own problems. Specifically because it is not convenient to use an App (the advertised method of supplementing A+ remote control) you want to use a physical remote control and failing that, the wall switch that then interferes with the App control. This just doubles back to wanting support for a GE style remote. A reasonable and useful request. What seems somewhat unreasonable is the design, knowing a list of compatible sensors and then holding Securifi to account for your implementation. Not an indictment, an observation. And again, support for more capable remote is up there on my priority list as well.

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I want to stay away from those switches because they aren't doing their job.  Check it... I appreciate your responses, but this is exactly what I am referring to with the A+.  It is all about "jury rigging".  This may be ok with single guys, but I am here to tell you that most women (wives) will not be cool with non-aesthetically pleasing options for lighting control.   Just saying...  And little kids... I cannot recall how many things have been misplaced in my house because a 4 year old didn't put a tiny key fob back where he/she used it.

I totally get the spouse thing, I heard a scream as I was about to drill into the side of the front door to install a flush mount sensor. It would have been easier to have Congress decrease medicare payments than the trial I experienced during that exercise.  ;D

And no, key fobs are not the answer but they were an answer using what's supported at the moment. I've actually installed those bluetooth tracking devices on about a dozen key fobs in the extended family, specifically to be able to track them down for the exact same reason. Well not 4 year olds anymore, but 9 year olds playing, 15 year olds wanting to learn how to drive a car and 50+ year olds that can't remember where they put their keys. So I absolutely take your point.

Generally what I am finding in folks that express any level of disappointment with Securifi's products is, if a device is listed as compatible, they expect it to be functioning with all features working reliably and two, add more device support.

I do not work for Securifi but I do make an effort to communicate thoughtfully with them and provide feedback from my handful of implementations. I will add a more capable remote control to my todo list and see what can be done. Currently Securifi is up against significant levels of effort with the upcoming release of the Almond 3 and supporting firmware upgrades for the A+, A2015, new Securifi sensors and adding to the supported device list. So no promises, but I think now that there supported device list has grown, the firmware is maturing, a capable remote would bring a nice feature set to the Securifi supported device list.

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Offline jnowland7

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Re: Gave it One Last Try
« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2016, 08:11:41 am »
This is the part I have never ever understood with connected bulbs. If you want to use them with a mechanical switch, then you turn off the switch, the bulb loses all power. In your case, you have bought a cree bulb and another zigbee device. Wouldn't you have been better off just replacing the wall switch with a z-wave wall switch? That way it is just one device that you replace. You would still be able to use an app or a mechanical switch. Granted it doesn't solve your problem of secondary controller.

The particular lamps I use the connected bulbs (Cree, GE Link, etc..) are actually lamps, which are not controlled by a mechanical wall switch.  The mechanical switch in this case is the actual finger turn switch on the actual lamps.  I was using the whole wall mechanical switch as a general example.  If the lamps I have the connected bulbs in were able to be controlled by an existing wall switch, I most definitely would have replaced the wall switch with a z-wave device.  The types of bulbs are useful when a lamp isn't able to be controlled by a wall switch, which control the power to an outlet. :-)

Offline jnowland7

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Re: Gave it One Last Try
« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2016, 08:23:27 am »
Ah, you want support for a currently unsupported device, at least I didn't see any GE Remote on the supported device list.  Nothing wrong with that, plenty of devices I would like to have supported as well and a more capable remote is one of them. But that's different than trying to solve a problem with known supported devices which is what I took the problem to be.

Indeed there are no "remote controls" on the supported list other than the NYCE 'lifestyle' control which is a key fob as well, and the Securifi key fob.  So your issue isn't 'jury rigging', it is rather a desire to have an expanded list of supported devices, specifically a different, more capable, remote control device. You want to solve a problem that can't be solved using the list of currently supported devices. So you have created a no win scenario, pile on compounding issues such as aesthetics, children and work arounds which gives the impression that the Almond+ falls far short of your desires. Understanding a little bit better about your real world needs, I am empathetic but not sympathetic in this case, the device isn't supported, period, hopefully it will be in the future.
 A programmable remote switch that would talk to the bulb not the outlet. I've not looked for one as I have no need but I would have expected one to be out there for someone's bulb.

And this is why I went to the SmartThings hub.  Even the Wink hub supports secondary controllers.  I actually seems like a simple thing and being ST and WINK have supported them for some time now, I would have thought the Securifi folks would have realized this would be a big deal to many people looking to truly automate their homes.

I totally get the spouse thing, I heard a scream as I was about to drill into the side of the front door to install a flush mount sensor. It would have been easier to have Congress decrease medicare payments than the trial I experienced during that exercise.  ;D

And no, key fobs are not the answer but they were an answer using what's supported at the moment. I've actually installed those bluetooth tracking devices on about a dozen key fobs in the extended family, specifically to be able to track them down for the exact same reason. Well not 4 year olds anymore, but 9 year olds playing, 15 year olds wanting to learn how to drive a car and 50+ year olds that can't remember where they put their keys. So I absolutely take your point.

TOO funny, I love it!  Actually my wife has gotten a lot better with expanding her mind to new things.  She was born and raised in Mexico and when we first met, she was newly citizenized.  I tease her still today with our friends that she didn't even want power windows in her car because it was just one more thing that will break :-O  Not "can" break, "will" break!  lol  Anyway, she treats me like "Tim the Toolman" less and less as things end up working pretty good.  She LOVES the echo being able to turn off a light using her voice.

Generally what I am finding in folks that express any level of disappointment with Securifi's products is, if a device is listed as compatible, they expect it to be functioning with all features working reliably and two, add more device support.

I do not work for Securifi but I do make an effort to communicate thoughtfully with them and provide feedback from my handful of implementations. I will add a more capable remote control to my todo list and see what can be done. Currently Securifi is up against significant levels of effort with the upcoming release of the Almond 3 and supporting firmware upgrades for the A+, A2015, new Securifi sensors and adding to the supported device list. So no promises, but I think now that there supported device list has grown, the firmware is maturing, a capable remote would bring a nice feature set to the Securifi supported device list.

I sincerely appreciate this forum and folks like you.  This is probably the best thing about the Almond+.  This is probably the best forum around, better than my car's forum, any home DIY forum, especially electrical, and even better then the SmartThings forum.  Thank you again.

Offline SecureComp

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Re: Gave it One Last Try
« Reply #23 on: June 06, 2016, 09:12:09 am »

Honestly though, can someone give me valid examples of using connected bulbs (non color changing) where a z-wave switch wouldn't work just as well or better ? Apparently my imagination is limited.

Multiple lamps/lights on a single circuit sharing a wall switch.
I want to control (and do) each lamp individually leaving the legacy wall switch in place.

I've created many lighting "scenes" that involve one to many lights, some of which are on the same circuit, but many are not.

Not to mention individually controlling DIM levels.

Sample modes:
lights on
lights off
gaming mode (lights dimmed, lights in front near game console off, lights behind extremely low)
movie mode (similar to game mode but mostly all lights dimmed to low level)
evening mode (some lights dimmed, others off)
morning mode (gradually increasing dim level of some bulbs, turning on various lights at until all are on and at full bright)

Many more scenarios, these are just some

Then I mix the Hues in to add color to morning, evening, night, late night, game, movie, etc and all of this is unique by room.
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Offline intrepidpursuit

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Re: Gave it One Last Try
« Reply #24 on: June 06, 2016, 05:43:31 pm »
I admit that part of the purpose of my post was to vent and see the reactions of other users to it. The resultant discussion is about how many workarounds are acceptable. If you are okay with a lot of workarounds and effort, then Almond is passable. The problem is that almost every other system is better than this one. If you don't already own an Almond and want to make the best out of it, people need to understand what they are getting themselves into. As a Kickstarter backer (I don't know why that doesn't show up in my profile) I realize I was taking a risk. That risk left me with a router worth what I paid but no more. But for people who are just now buying this thing now, 3 years later, for $200 it is just not worth it.

I don't understand what public image Securifi is trying to portray exactly, but they appear to have made a bare minimum passable automation system so they can add that to their specification sheet. It would be a reasonable router for $150 if you don't know how to setup a normal router, but the home automation does not justify the added $50 since it is such an incomplete feature.

Offline SecureComp

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Re: Gave it One Last Try
« Reply #25 on: June 06, 2016, 08:05:20 pm »
I admit that part of the purpose of my post was to vent and see the reactions of other users to it.
aka trolling as in literally, almost precisely the definition of trolling, though I'm going to choose to take your intent as genuine desire to learn rather than sow discourse

Quote
The resultant discussion is about how many workarounds are acceptable.
Some was, much had to do with making thoughtful choices going in and understanding the risks associated with Kickstarter projects. As an example, there are several so called 'home automation systems' available on the market that work with a fixed number of sensors, often from the same manufacturer of the 'hub'. You simply have to visit Home Depot, Lowes or the like to see many examples of this. Securifi's product goes beyond this offering and offers WiFi routing along with a touchscreen interface. FWIW, any of these other hubs involve costs way beyond $50 to implement, relating to your estimate of the value of the HA side of A+.

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If you are okay with a lot of workarounds and effort, then Almond is passable.

The only part of my setup that I consider a workaround is setting a rule to turn devices off at a given time and that rule is separate from the rule that turns them on at a given time.  Other than that I don't consider what I have a workaround, but then again, I did not intentionally purchase items on the "not supported" list or worry about legacy integration of systems dating back to the 1980's as some have.

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The problem is that almost every other system is better than this one.

By that I presume you mean products like Smart Things or Vera or running Homeseer on a Pi or something, not Wink/Dlink/Iris and other dedicated, narrowly focused HA systems, none of which provide WiFi router or touchscreen management systems. So you are selecting a dedicated HA system that has been around longer, has a grass roots community that is well established and does not offer significant features offered by the Securifi products.  Almost apples and oranges but I understand, if you want to have a single device to do it all, you want it to literally 'do it all' and until Securifi greatly expands the list of supported devices, that won't happen. And even if they do, until the firmware/software/apps are as comprehensive and flexible as the dedicated HA systems, you won't be happy.  But then again, purchasing a product based on wishes vs the specs of the supported sensor/device list, well it has risks.

Quote
If you don't already own an Almond and want to make the best out of it, people need to understand what they are getting themselves into. As a Kickstarter backer (I don't know why that doesn't show up in my profile)
Just ask Ashok, they will update your profile

Quote
I realize I was taking a risk. That risk left me with a router worth what I paid but no more. But for people who are just now buying this thing now, 3 years later, for $200 it is just not worth it.
I happen to disagree, just my opinion. And I happen to have a couple dozen devices/sensors working just fine and a reasonably robust HA system that still allows enough DIY tinkering to keep me happy.

Quote
I don't understand what public image Securifi is trying to portray exactly, but they appear to have made a bare minimum passable automation system so they can add that to their specification sheet. It would be a reasonable router for $150 if you don't know how to setup a normal router, but the home automation does not justify the added $50 since it is such an incomplete feature.

Seems a little harsh given the number of supported devices, the integration with Amazon Echo, the A3 that was recently announced, the growing list of sensors, the continued improvements to the legacy firmware.

I believe it comes down to an honest assessment of your home automation requirements and a clear understanding of the list of supported devices.

There is a reason "HA" systems sold at the big box stores only work with a specific list of products and have a limited interfaces, it is to create a sense of reliability and ease of use. Other dedicated HA systems, or rather hubs/controllers, that support a greater diversity of products absolutely have their inherent weaknesses, features and as much as they can be easy to use, you can jump right down the rabbit hole when trying to accomplish a simple goal.

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Offline intrepidpursuit

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Re: Gave it One Last Try
« Reply #26 on: June 11, 2016, 02:48:58 am »
aka trolling as in literally, almost precisely the definition of trolling, though I'm going to choose to take your intent as genuine desire to learn rather than sow discourse
Trolling: "make a deliberately offensive or provocative online posting with the aim of upsetting someone or eliciting an angry response from them." I trust you don't think that suggesting that Almond+ is not a good value is offensive or provocative. If people are angry at the suggestion then they might be a little too attached to their router.

Securifi's product goes beyond this offering and offers WiFi routing along with a touchscreen interface. FWIW, any of these other hubs involve costs way beyond $50 to implement, relating to your estimate of the value of the HA side of A+.
Again, I realize there is value in a touch screen router and my critique is pointedly about the Home Automation feature which is an entirely separate function from wifi. It makes no difference to me if those two functions are in the same box or two different ones, but I also recognize that is a matter of opinion. If they weren't worth evaluating separately there wouldn't be separate subforums.

The only part of my setup that I consider a workaround is setting a rule to turn devices off at a given time and that rule is separate from the rule that turns them on at a given time.  Other than that I don't consider what I have a workaround, but then again, I did not intentionally purchase items on the "not supported" list or worry about legacy integration of systems dating back to the 1980's as some have.
I purposefully purchased things that were on the list and they didn't work. One was even taken off the list. I've explained this.

By that I presume you mean products like Smart Things or Vera or running Homeseer on a Pi or something, not Wink/Dlink/Iris and other dedicated, narrowly focused HA systems, none of which provide WiFi router or touchscreen management systems. So you are selecting a dedicated HA system that has been around longer, has a grass roots community that is well established and does not offer significant features offered by the Securifi products.  Almost apples and oranges but I understand, if you want to have a single device to do it all, you want it to literally 'do it all' and until Securifi greatly expands the list of supported devices, that won't happen. And even if they do, until the firmware/software/apps are as comprehensive and flexible as the dedicated HA systems, you won't be happy.  But then again, purchasing a product based on wishes vs the specs of the supported sensor/device list, well it has risks.
You are just being deliberately combative here. AGAIN, every smart device I purchased was on the supported list when I bought it. Smartthings launched just 4 months before Almond+ and was leaps and bounds ahead of where Almond+ is now before the Samsung purchase. Vera has a grass roots community because they have a platform that allows it, Securifi does not allow any third party or open source anything, so if that's a disadvantage it is purposeful. Homeseer is crazy expensive and in a different category. Wink has more supported devices than Almond+. If you want to put Almond+ in the category of Isis so you can say it is better, fine, but that is not a flattering argument.

Seems a little harsh given the number of supported devices, the integration with Amazon Echo, the A3 that was recently announced, the growing list of sensors, the continued improvements to the legacy firmware.
I realize the value of the Almond+ package is a matter of opinion and that your opinion is that Almond+ is the industry leader. The A3 is actually a step backward on the HA front with the lack of built-in Z-Wave support. Smartthings, Vera and Wink all beat Almond+ to having Amazon Echo support. It is surprising Securifi launched Echo support (it must be easy) since they still don't support Google Now or IFTTT like the others have for years. The device list is growing, sure, but it is still really small compared to smartthings and vera and is outpaced even by wink.

I believe it comes down to an honest assessment of your home automation requirements and a clear understanding of the list of supported devices.
Is anyone misunderstanding the supported devices? Let's rehash that again...

There is a reason "HA" systems sold at the big box stores only work with a specific list of products and have a limited interfaces, it is to create a sense of reliability and ease of use. Other dedicated HA systems, or rather hubs/controllers, that support a greater diversity of products absolutely have their inherent weaknesses, features and as much as they can be easy to use, you can jump right down the rabbit hole when trying to accomplish a simple goal.
So Almond+ has the small list of supported products of a big fox store hub but without the reliability and ease of use?

SecureComp, you defend Almond+ like it is your child. I see why you have to put in your signature that you don't work for securifi because you are more defensive than any of the securifi employees. I don't feel like this incredible devotion actually furthers the conversation. I wanted to know if other users feel the same frustration I do when trying to make use of this box and the answer is a resounding yes even if your voice is not included with theirs.

 

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